Ways to Stabilize and Accelerate the Delivery of Goods While Facing a Shortage of Transport
Against the rapid post-crisis growth of the freight transportation market in 2017, forwarding companies are facing the shortage of international transport, which resulted from the reduction in the truck fleet during the years of crisis. An obvious lack of transportation capacity is especially noticeable when arranging deliveries from distant regions of Europe to the countries of the EEU.
As a result, freight forwarders are forced to develop solutions helping to eliminate the risks of delayed delivery.
Specialists of TELS Group of Companies are sharing their solutions helping stabilize and, if necessary, accelerate the delivery of goods in conditions of severe transport shortage.
Cargo delivery with reloading en route
This solution is relatively easy to implement for complete shipments that do not require special transportation conditions.
For example, there is a request for urgent cargo delivery by road from a distant region in France to the Russian Federation. It is not always possible to find direct transportation on these routes during the peak season quickly. Therefore, the solution is the delivery scheme implying reloading in Poland. As a rule, there is always sufficient transport travelling on the routes from/to France-Poland and Poland-Russia (if the work is organized properly, there is no apparent increase in transportation time).
Let’s raise the bar – we need to organize the delivery of cargo premised on compliance with strict temperature requirements. Suppose it is pharmaceutical products, which require irrefutable documents proving conditions of storage and transportation for import and further release for sale.
If such a request comes during a peak season (right before May or New Year holidays), it is almost impossible to find refrigerated trucks going directly from distant regions of Europe.
How have TELS experts solved this problem?
The decision for delivery with reloading en route is implemented under the following supplementary conditions: a) transportation is carried out by two refrigerators; b) by the time the first truck arrives in Poland, the second refrigerator is already waiting with a precooled refrigeration system; c) both cars drive into a temperature-controlled storage room, reloading is carried out from one car to the other in the shortest way, temperature sensors are installed at the doors of the refrigerators.
Provided that compliance with the temperature requirements is continuously monitored by means of objective control with all the required data printed out, customs authorities have no reason to doubt the compliance with transportation requirements. Having adopted this scheme, TELS Group organized successful delivery of products to one of the largest pharmacy chains in Russia.
The scheme requires precise planning and implementation, so only carriers who collaborate with businesses operating with high-tech warehouse systems in the countries bordering on the EEU (such as Poland and Lithuania) can meet the challenge.
Delivery by “consolidated (groupage) cargo” scheme
This solution can be implemented by those forwarding companies that have developed groupage cargo deliveries. As a rule, such businesses have well-arranged working processes and a reliable pool of constantly involved carriers, which allows accurate planning and delivery time.
Currently TELS Group of Companies keeps to the following scheme of consolidated cargo delivery: 1) delivery of the cargo from the shipper to the consolidation warehouse in Poland or Lithuania takes 24-48 hours from receiving the request; 2) consolidation of goods is carried out at the stage when the requests are being processed; 3) consolidated cargoes are dispatched from warehouses to destination regions daily. It takes 7-10 days to delivery cargoes to central regions of Russia after receiving the request.
Facing the shortage of direct transport and possible time delays, the new scheme becomes a reliable option bringing stability to cargo delivery processes in the company.
An additional advantage of the new transportation scheme is cost reduction: if the volume of goods is less than the volume of a regular semi-trailer, cargoes are consolidated and the payment is divided proportionately according to the volume occupied in the vehicle. The goods are delivered to the designated place.
This transportation scheme does not require extra efforts or time from the customer.
Acquiring vehicles for customer needs
Finding an available special-purpose transport for specific cargoes is an even more difficult task. If the customer makes requests for such supplies constantly, the problem can be solved by long-term agreements: a) with the customer on the provision of cargo volumes regularly; b) with the carrier on the provision of the required volumes of freight capacities.
Guaranteed cargo volumes allow the carriers to buy special-purpose vehicles to satisfy customer needs. Besides the available freight capacities provided at any time, this solution can accelerate the delivery if necessary.
Real-case example. At customer’s request, edible fats necessary for food production had to be delivered from France only in tanks suitable for transportation of fats. The plant works 24/7 on short-term plans – it is important to ensure uninterrupted replenishment of fat stocks, at the same time consumption volumes may change.
The challenge was met by purchasing a tanker for customer’s needs and arranging regular delivery of fats on time with the possibility to accelerate the delivery at request.
There are simpler situations – provided there are long-term agreements with a major customer for regular transportation of goods in tent semi-trailers, it is wise to receive carrier’s approval to purchase MEGA semitrailers with an increased volume of cargo space to satisfy customer’s needs. Besides regular availability of transport allows cost reduction.
Accelerated delivery scheme enabled by two drivers
Any customer faces the need for urgent delivery of cargoes more or less often. Accelerated delivery schemes during severe transport shortages are in great demand because they allow to eliminate the delays arising from long search for the available transport.
One of such schemes implies cargo transportation by two drivers.
REFERENCE. The legislation in the countries of Western Europe limits the time drivers can spend in a vehicle cab. As the time has passed by, regardless of whether the driver was driving the car or resting in the cab, he must park the car and take a rest at a hotel.
SOLUTION. In order to reduce transit time, transportation is organized according to the following scheme: the first driver takes the cargo from the shipper and travels to a destination point, where the second driver is waiting for him. If the cargo is transported from distant regions of Europe, the drivers exchange twice. In this case, the first driver goes to the exchange point by car, takes a rest there and continues driving after the arrival of the truck.
This scheme increases the freight quote slightly, but helps in situations when time is money.
The major benefit of the proposed solutions is stable delivery of goods on time despite unbalanced conditions in the logistics market and a shortage of transportation capacities. The more solutions helping eliminate the shortage of transport a contractor has in store, the more reliable the delivery time is irrespective of the current market situation.